Medical Noncommissioned Officers earn rite of passage
January 25, 2012
VILSECK, Germany -- Thirteen Noncommissioned Officers of Bavaria Medical Department Activity were sworn into the NCO corps at an induction ceremony here at the Vilseck movie theater Jan. 20.
Soldiers from health clinics in Bamberg, Grafenwoehr, Hohenfels, Illesheim, Katterbach, Schweinfurt and here took an oath to uphold their duty as Noncommissioned Officers.
"To be recognized by your fellow NCOs and to be sponsored by an NCO into the corps, with their backing, it's beyond words," said Sgt. Isaac Carpenter, who works in personnel and operations office at the Bamberg Health Clinic. "I was promoted in 2006 but… never had a chance to be actually inducted. Pinning on was very emotional, but the induction ceremony is something, because of operational tempo and work, I have always had to miss out on, so this is something I can't really describe."
One NCO, who sponsored an NCO inductee in the ceremony, described his induction experience years ago as being memorable.
"It meant a lot to me after I went to the ceremony," said Staff Sgt. Clinton Long, the detachment sergeant at the Katterbach Health Clinic. "The guest speaker said 'don't hold on to what you used to do as a junior enlisted or specialists; you're going to be held to a different standard.' That made a big impression on me."
Long also remembers something his guest speaker said about the NCO Creed during his induction ceremony.
"We were supposed to know the NCO creed as newly promoted sergeants," Long said. "This really meant a lot to me. What he said was 'I don't really care if you know it verbatim, but as long as you live it. That's the most important thing.' I will never forget that."
The guest speaker of BMEDDAC's NCO induction ceremony, Command Sgt. Maj. Jimmy Sellers, was not at a loss for motivational words while addressing the new inductees; he is also no stranger to mentoring NCO.
"It was over 26 years ago, as a kid right here in Vilseck, Germany, I sat in probably what still are the same chairs sitting in this theater and I thought about being a Soldier," Sellers said, who is the 7th Army NCO Academy commandant. "It started all right here for me.
"Over time, I've learned that NCO induction ceremonies are one of the most important things we can do for our NCO Corps; it helps set the tone for what is expected of the Noncommissioned officer."
Sellers spoke about the need for NCOs to live by the Army values and serve as an example to their fellow Soldiers.
"Now that you have crossed the time honored line from being a Soldier to becoming an NCO, you are the standard," he said. "Every Noncommissioned Officer leaves a legacy, good or bad, with the piece of the Army he or she leads; never forget the enduring nature of our business. Noncommissioned Officers who model good self-discipline habits build well-disciplined Soldiers and units. Be proud, not only of what you've accomplished, but what you are about to."